Watch VWs electric ID R crush the Nürburgring EV lap record

first_img 2020 Hyundai Palisade review: Posh enough to make Genesis jealous Preview • Volkswagen I.D. Buzz: Driving this concept gets us smiling Volkswagen 3:28 The record-breaking Volkswagen I.D. R electric car It was all but a given that VW and driver Romain Dumas would pick up this record. Previously, the ID R picked up the overall record at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, and it also earned the EV record at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, a crown it intends to fight for again this year when the hillclimb kicks off on July 4.The ID R is a beast of a race car. Built as part of an effort to expand awareness of VW’s fledgling ID electric sub-brand, this record breaker has two electric motors putting out 670 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque. It weighs less than 2,425 pounds, as well, which results in the bonkers acceleration seen in the video. And, judging by how well it’s doing at various tracks and events, it’s unlikely that this will be the last we see of it. Now playing: Watch this: More about 2022 Volkswagen I.D. Buzz VW’s adorable I.D. Buzz charms us on the California coast 18 Photos 1 Share your voice 2020 Kia Telluride review: Kia’s new SUV has big style and bigger value Enlarge ImageRomain Dumas was a natural choice for the run, having loads of experience with both the ID R and the ‘Ring itself. Volkswagen A little over a week ago, Volkswagen’s record-breaking ID R electric race car captured the EV lap record at the Nürburgring Nordschleife with an astounding lap of 6 minutes, 5 seconds. If you haven’t watched the in-car footage yet, here’s your chance.Volkswagen, not one to miss an opportunity, has posted its onboard footage from the ID R’s record-setting run on June 3. It’s absolutely wild, with its two electric motors screaming in high pitches while the tires do everything they can to maintain grip. It’s incredible just how quickly the trees and barriers fly past the ID R. It’s like the video is permanently set to fast-forward. Benny Hill would be proud. Tags Comment More From Roadshow Electric Cars Car Culture 2020 BMW M340i review: A dash of M makes everything betterlast_img read more

5000 Rohingya shelters destroyed in rains

first_imgAt least 10 people have died and thousands of shanty homes have been destroyed by monsoon rains in overcrowded Rohingya refugee camps in Bangladesh’s southeast, officials said Sunday.Bangladesh’s meteorological department said the Cox’s Bazar district — home to nearly one million Rohingya Muslims who have fled a military crackdown in Myanmar — has seen at least 58.5 centimetres (nearly two feet) of rain since 2 July.An International Organisation for Migration (IOM) spokeswoman said heavy rains triggered mudslides in the refugee camps — which are mostly built on hill-slopes — destroying some 4,889 tarpaulin and bamboo shacks in the first two weeks of July.More than 200 landslides have been reported since April in the camps, built near the border with Myanmar, and at least 10 people were killed, a UN report said, adding nearly 50,000 people have been affected.In the last week alone, two Rohingya minors died and another 6,000 people were left without shelter because of heavy rains.The UN said the schooling of some 60,000 children had been interrupted with over 750 learning centres partially damaged and five heavily damaged.Displaced refugees said they were suffering as rain disrupted logistics and daily activity in the camps.”It’s tough to go to food distribution centres by wading through a swamp of mud,” Nurun Jan, a Rohingya refugee, told AFP.”Rains and gusty wind have made our life miserable.”Refugees also described a shortage of drinking water and a looming health crisis due to flooded toilets, which foster disease outbreaks.World Food Programme (WFP) spokeswoman Gemma Snowdon said they had to significantly increase assistance in the camps to cope up with the monsoon.”So far 11,400 people have required the extra food assistance due to the heavy rains, compared to 7,000 during the whole of July 2018,” she said.Last year the UN refugee agency moved 30,000 Rohingya out of areas considered at high risk of landslides and floods.Heavy rains frequently trigger flooding and landslides in Bangladesh’s southeastern hill districts, and in 2017 at least 170 people were killed.Some 740,000 Rohingya fled a military crackdown in Buddhist-dominated Myanmar’s Rakhine state in August 2017, joining about 200,000 already living in camps in Bangladesh.Officials said landslides were increasing in the region because forests had been cleared to make way for the sprawling Rohingya camps. One of the settlements, Kutupalong, is now the world’s largest refugee centre.Refugee homes are particularly susceptible to damage or destruction because Bangladeshi authorities will only allow them to be built with tarpaulin, twine, bamboo, or other flimsy materials to maintain the “temporary” character of the camp, according to the New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW).A senior Bangladesh official told AFP the government has barred permanent structures as they hope the refugees will eventually return home.Bangladesh wants to relocate up to 100,000 refugees to Bhashan Char, a remote island in the Bay of Bengal, but this is opposed by the Rohingya and international rights groups.Dhaka says any relocation to the island would be voluntary.last_img read more

Pentagon report investigated lasers that put voices in your head

first_img Citation: Pentagon report investigated lasers that put voices in your head (2008, February 18) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2008-02-pentagon-lasers-voices.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. With another weapon, electromagnetic pulses could be used to disrupt the brain´s functioning, although this technology was still in the theoretical stages at the time. Under normal conditions, all brain structures function with specific rhythmic activity depending on incoming sensory information. Sometimes, the brain synchronizes neuronal activity in order to focus on a specific task, but the degree of neuronal synchronization is highly controlled. However, under certain conditions (such as physical stress or heat stroke), more areas of the brain can fire in a highly synchronized manner, and may begin firing uncontrollably.The report describes a method for replicating this highly synchronized neuron firing across distances of several hundred meters. High-voltage (100 kV/m) electromagnetic pulses lasting for one nanosecond could trigger neurons to fire, disrupting the body´s controlled firing activity. Short-term effects may include loss of consciousness, muscle spasms, muscle weakness, and seizures lasting for a couple minutes. These high-voltage pulsed sources, which would require an estimated frequency of 15 Hz, exist today.Another form of non-lethal torture described in the report is microwave heating. By raising the temperature of the body to 41°C (105.8°F), humans can experience sensations such as memory loss and disorientation, and exhibit reduced aggression. According to the report, humans can survive temperatures up to 42°C (107.6°F), at which time prolonged exposure can result in permanent brain damage or death.The microwave heating technique was tested on a Rhesus monkey, where a 225 MHz beam caused an increase in the animal´s body temperature. Depending on the dosage level, the temperature increase occurred within a time of 15 to 30 minutes. After the beam was removed, the animal´s body temperature decreased back to normal. The report suggests the technique could be useful for controlling crowds or in negotiations.While the investigations reveal intriguing techniques for non-lethal torture, the report does not mention plans for carrying out specific experiments or studies in the future.Full report: Bioeffects of Selected Non-Lethal Weaponsvia: Wired A US citizen requested access to the document, entitled “Bioeffects of Selected Non-Lethal Weapons,” under the Freedom of Information Act a little over a year ago. There is no evidence that any of the technologies mentioned in the 10-year-old report have been developed since the time it was written.The report explained several types of non-lethal laser applications, including microwave hearing, disrupted neural control, and microwave heating. For the first type, short pulses of RF energy (2450 MHz) can generate a pressure wave in solids and liquids. When exposed to pulsed RF energy, humans experience the immediate sensation of “microwave hearing” – sounds that may include buzzing, ticking, hissing, or knocking that originate within the head. Studies with guinea pigs and cats suggest that the mechanism responsible for the phenomenon is thermoelastic expansion. Exposure to the RF pulses doesn´t cause any permanent effects, as all effects cease almost immediately after exposure ceases. As the report explains, tuning microwave hearing could enable communicating with individuals from a distance of up to several hundred meters.”The phenomenon is tunable in that the characteristic sounds and intensities of those sounds depend on the characteristics of the RF energy as delivered,” the report explains. “Because the frequency of the sound heard is dependent on the pulse characteristics of the RF energy, it seems possible that this technology could be developed to the point where words could be transmitted to be heard like the spoken word, except that it could only be heard within a person´s head. In one experiment, communication of the words from one to ten using ´speech modulated´ microwave energy was successfully demonstrated. Microphones next to the person experiencing the voice could not pick up these sounds. Additional development of this would open up a wide range of possibilities.”The report predicts that communicating at longer distances would be possible with larger equipment, while shorter range signals could be generated with portable equipment. Putting voices in people´s heads could cause what the report calls “psychologically devastating” effects. The technology might even allow for communicating with an individual hostage surrounded by captors, although this would require “extreme directional specificity.” A recently unclassified report from the Pentagon from 1998 has revealed an investigation into using laser beams for a few intriguing potential methods of non-lethal torture. Some of the applications the report investigated include putting voices in people’s heads, using lasers to trigger uncontrolled neuron firing, and slowly heating the human body to a point of feverish confusion – all from hundreds of meters away.last_img read more

OrcaM is new kid on block for 3D data capture

first_img The OrcaM system involves a large sphere, likened by one viewer as a giant maw, inside which one places the desired object for 3-D scanning. Once the object is placed inside, the sphere is sealed shut and the seven cameras and lights go to work. The cameras take simultaneous high-definition photos of the object at different angles. Serving to define the object’s geometry, various combinations of lights illuminate the object differently for every shot, capturing the finest details. After the photo processing, computer processing of the image creates the 3-D model. Observers say the end result is a highly impressive agreement of the real object. © 2011 PhysOrg.com Explore further OrcaM Reconstruction Sequences The system is also identified on the DFKI site as having been developed “in the context of a project” of the Augmented Vision arm of DFKI, which stands for Germany’s Research Center for Artificial Intelligence.NEK sees the camera system as a way to conduct automated transfers of real objects into high-quality digital representations for media such as on the “Internet, cinema, and computer games.” The DFKI envisions its application being to create super-accurate models of museum and art objects, models that are good enough to be used instead of the originals. The 3-D models produced by OrcaM are said to be fully textured and of high enough quality for the archives of valuable artifacts from museums.A useful selling point for both the above two applications is that, with the OrcaM system, key tasks are automatic. The user does not have to calibrate the cameras or lighting system, which the system performs automatically. According to the web site I Programmer, which assessed the video, the wire frame model used 20,000 triangles based on 300 million measured points “accurate to less than a millimeter.” The camera system, said the report, is worth the look when accuracy is paramount.A camera system of this size and scope may seem easily destined for the confines of powerhouse R&D labs in the sciences, but OrcaM is also generating interest in how it is being promoted.Developers of the camera system are identified as NEK. According to the company, “Within the range equipment construction we developed and finished an automated photograph station (OrcaM) for digital visualizations and reconstructions of objects.” Citation: OrcaM is new kid on block for 3-D data capture (2012, January 21) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-01-orcam-kid-block-d-capture.htmlcenter_img More information: www.nek-kl.de/de_DE/produkte/o … bital-camera-system/ (PhysOrg.com) — Call it automated photograph station, seven-camera system, 3-D model showcase, or digital reconstruction tool. OrcaM is being described as all these things. Whatever the tag, the “OrcaM” name stands for Orbital Camera System, according to its Germany-based developers NEK GmbH. A video demo was making the rounds of web gadget blogs and news sites this week as a camera system to watch. Creating 3D models with a simple webcam (w/ Video) This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Researchers suggest modern gourds would not have survived without domestication

first_img © 2015 Phys.org More information: L. Kistler et al. Gourds and squashes (Cucurbita spp.) adapted to megafaunal extinction and ecological anachronism through domestication, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2015). DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1516109112AbstractThe genus Cucurbita (squashes, pumpkins, gourds) contains numerous domesticated lineages with ancient New World origins. It was broadly distributed in the past but has declined to the point that several of the crops’ progenitor species are scarce or unknown in the wild. We hypothesize that Holocene ecological shifts and megafaunal extinctions severely impacted wild Cucurbita, whereas their domestic counterparts adapted to changing conditions via symbiosis with human cultivators. First, we used high-throughput sequencing to analyze complete plastid genomes of 91 total Cucurbita samples, comprising ancient (n = 19), modern wild (n = 30), and modern domestic (n = 42) taxa. This analysis demonstrates independent domestication in eastern North America, evidence of a previously unknown pathway to domestication in northeastern Mexico, and broad archaeological distributions of taxa currently unknown in the wild. Further, sequence similarity between distant wild populations suggests recent fragmentation. Collectively, these results point to wild-type declines coinciding with widespread domestication. Second, we hypothesize that the disappearance of large herbivores struck a critical ecological blow against wild Cucurbita, and we take initial steps to consider this hypothesis through cross-mammal analyses of bitter taste receptor gene repertoires. Directly, megafauna consumed Cucurbita fruits and dispersed their seeds; wild Cucurbita were likely left without mutualistic dispersal partners in the Holocene because they are unpalatable to smaller surviving mammals with more bitter taste receptor genes. Indirectly, megafauna maintained mosaic-like landscapes ideal for Cucurbita, and vegetative changes following the megafaunal extinctions likely crowded out their disturbed-ground niche. Thus, anthropogenic landscapes provided favorable growth habitats and willing dispersal partners in the wake of ecological upheaval. Cucurbita seeds were found in mastadon dung. Credit: Lee Newsom, Penn State Cucurbita pepo gourds. Credit: Public Domain Explore further Prior evidence has shown that plants of the genus Cucurbita, which includes pumpkins, gourds and squashes, flourished during the Holocene in areas where large mammals such as giant sloths, mastodons and mammoths roamed—the huge mammals not only trampled and grazed in such areas, clearing land that the plants needed to survive, but also dispersed their seeds via their dung—thus there’s was a mutually positive relationship. But then things changed, the climate grew warmer and humans arrived with their advanced hunting skills—over time, the large mammals ceased to exist. The squash and gourds soon found it much more difficult to survive in overgrown vegetation and had little to no means of seed dispersal, which, the researchers suggest, means they would have all gone extinct had humans not begun to domesticate some varieties.To come to these conclusions, the researchers studied gourd and other seeds found in preserved large mammal dung (going back 30,000 years), which revealed a wide variety of lost species. They also tested the degree of bitterness in ancient gourd skin and then compared what they found with the results of a genome study they conducted looking at bitterness sensitivity in 46 modern animals–they found that the ancient varieties were so bitter that they would have been toxic to very small mammals and unpalatable to those somewhat larger, leaving just the largest mammals able to consume Cucurbita. The evidence indicates that most Cucurbita species began to decline approximately 10,000 years ago, and that most of them eventually went extinct. Those that we favor today only survived because humans began using them first as containers and floatation devices for fishing nets, then later, as a food source, presumably as domestication led to sweeter varieties. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Citation: Researchers suggest modern gourds would not have survived without domestication (2015, November 17) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-11-modern-gourds-survived-domestication.html (Phys.org)—A team of researchers with members from several institutions in the U.K. and U.S. has found evidence that suggests that modern gourds would have gone extinct long ago if humans had not domesticated them. In their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the team describes their study of the history of gourds in the New World and why they needed domestication to survive. Researchers try to understand consequences of declining populations of large-bodied mammalslast_img read more

Care for a few stress busters

first_imgStress when clubbed with obsessive compulsive disorder makes one unmanageable and puts one on the border line of personality disorder. Initially the performance of a person was the only key factor that was considered but now, performance is clubbed with competition, excellence, organisation, technology, education, administration and execution. The stress and pressure of performance in a person’s daily life thus acquired has given rise to major health issues today.  Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’As Anuja Kapur, Criminal Psychologist and Socialist, says: “The leadership quality is no more to be seen. Becoming a boss in every field and trying to do things alone without taking help from teammates has proven to be a major disaster not only in personal life but also in the professional front.” She explains: “Stress is also felt in educational sector; research students have had massive anxiety attacks due to overwhelming stress in their life. Students are not able to cope up with the pressure which they face daily in schools, colleges and at home. Students have started facing many health issues- such as major depressive disorders, suicidal tendencies, bi-polar disorders- which have hampered their performances and forced them to remain within their own respective shells.”  Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixStudents are not able to open up their feelings with parents, teachers or tutors. They remain in their own world and the competition around them kills their performance. Even if they want to explore, the busy world cannot provide quality time to them.Kapur advices, “The ability to deal with stress can be the difference between success and failure at work. Stress is not always bad, if in comfort zone of the person it can help the individual to meet new challenges at the work place. It keeps us on the toes to prevent accidents or costly mistakes at work. But in today’s hectic world with long tiring hours, tight deadlines and increasing demands, one is left worried, uncertain and overwhelmed by the stress.  “When stress exceeds our comfort zone area it stops being helpful and starts causing major damages to our mind and body, but no matter what we do for a living, how stressful our job is, there are plenty of things that can reduced overall stress level and help us regain control on the work.”Symptoms of stress at workWhen we are overwhelmed by the work, we lose confidence, become angry, irritable or withdrawn. Other signs and symptoms include:  Loss of interest in work  Problems sleeping  Fatigue Muscle tension or headaches  Stomach problems  Social withdrawal Causes of excessive stress in life  Eye hawk on team’s performance every time creates anxiety  Fear of being laid off  Fear of being super succeeded by a competent colleague  Pressure to perform to meet rising expectations but without job satisfaction  Politics and corruption have lowered the humanitarian ground which again brings stress and a feeling of hopelessness  Pressure at work is a major cause for the occurrence of domestic violence, broken homes incompetency in relationships and parentingStress coping tipsInitiate positive relationships: Sharing our thoughts and feelings with another person can help reduce stress. The other person does not have to be a doctor or a counsellor, just needs to be a good listener. Developing friendships with co workers can also help in reducing stress Don’t stop moving: Staying at one place also leads to boredom and loss of interest. Bringing change in our environment brings change in us. When under stress take a quick break and move away from the stressful situation. It will help us, like eating small and frequent meals maintains the level of blood sugar, keeping us energetic, helping us avoid mood swingsSleep well: Sleep is like a morphine induced in the system which helps us relax rejuvenate and come back with a stronger, energetic approach to the same old problemOrganise and prioritise your work: Create a balanced schedule between work and family life. Try to be punctual, leave early for work. Planning your day will help you to reorganise the scattered and unfinished work leading to deadlinesPlan small approachable goals: Instead of having a goal which is unapproachable, inaccessible, unmanageable we should plan to have small approachable goals. This helps in retaining confidence and keeps us motivated.Take Help: If you are feeling stressful, degenerated, nervous, impatient, anxious, it’s better to take help from a counsellor to understand your symptoms and to cope with them.last_img read more